RAWALPINDI, Oct 5: For the last one week, Rawalpindi Division Railway has been purchasing diesel from open market to keep trains running.
A senior official of railways told Dawn that the freight train carrying diesel for Rawalpindi division had been delayed.
He said Pakistan Railways delayed payments to the Pakistan State Oil which led to the delay in provision of fuel to the railways. Besides, the engine of the freight train also developed fault, he said.
“The Pindi division railways had purchased 150,000 litres of diesel from open market and it would purchase another 100,000 litres to run 18 trains for next three days,” he said.
For the last few months, the local railway administration has been spending all the daily earnings on purchase of fuel. “Rawalpindi Division earns Rs2.5 million daily and spends Rs2.1 million on fuel,” he said.
The senior official said a total of 18 trains began their operations from Rawalpindi to other parts of the country including Karachi, Quetta, Lahore, Multan and Peshawar. He said that these trains consumed 35,000 litres of diesel daily.
He said that the Central Diesel Locomotive (CDL) workshop also required diesel for the repair of the faulty engines and for the test running of the engine. He said that the government had set the target to repair the engines but delay in official supply of the diesel would also affect the repair work.
When contacted, Pakistan Railways Divisional Superintendent Syed Munawar Shah admitted that railway was facing diesel shortage. However, he said that they had managed to purchase the fuel from open market.
He said the fuel was purchased by the headquarters from Pakistan State Oil (PSO) in Karachi and transported to all the divisions. “The Pakistan Railways high ups allowed him to purchase the fuel from open market to keep the train operation running.
He said that the freight train carrying diesel would reach Rawalpindi in next two days. However, he was not sure about the arrival time of the train.